The Trouble with “Krishna’s Arrangement”
During a home program we acquainted a young woman that recently received initiation from a visiting Gauòéya Math Sannyäsé. She warily remarked that it was “Krishna’s arrangement” that she got initiated by him. Her explanation, it appeared to me, sounded like an interesting and often employed device to eschew responsibility for one’s decisions and actions: Krishna wanted it. One thereby conveniently ignores the wisdom of “Man proposes and Krishna disposes.” ‘Krishna’s arrangement’ is not independent of a person’s will. Krishna will oversee and may sanction our desires (upadrañöänumantä ca). The liability for what happens is still with us.
It’s like when a family member decides to marry someone against the consent of the rest of the family. The family is now obliged to accommodate that newcomer. Either that, or cut ties with their beloved family member. The circumstances described above present a very similar scenario.
What is an important difference between a loyal member of Çréla Prabhupäda's family and a devotee of the Gauòéya Math? The former strictly adheres to Çréla Prabhupäda's will to work cooperatively under a governing body, while Gauòéya Math members are not answerable to that body, although they do respect Çréla Prabhupäda and also teach from his books.
Up to his last days with us, Çréla Prabhupäda stressed “intelligence and organization” for the furtherance of the mission he established: a clear directive that we need to be mindful about the decisions we make and the actions we take. This protects devotees from acting whimsically and irresponsibly, and then hold “Krishna’s arrangement” accountable for what happens.
Skeptics question the requirement of cooperating within the directives of an administrative body. They see it as external and thus they figure it is not spiritual. They prefer to follow the invisible guiding hand of Krishna. After all, when the living entity sincerely desires, it is Krishna who arranges that he/she meets a bona-fide Guru. Where then is the need of an additional endorsement for such a divine arrangement? But even Gauòéya Math devotees themselves call the zealous doings of some of their companions as behavior of “wild horses.” (1)
Çréla Prabhupäda's followers take his will serious: He wanted that the mission be carried out in organized way. One aspect of this is that devotees get a “no-objection” from other members of the society before they engage in the service of accepting disciples. Teachers also request permission to visit regions and they follow guidelines that ensure the continuity of the mission.
To execute the will of the Äcärya and to act in an organized way is not a material impulse – it is another expression of love for the Äcärya. Looking at things closely, we witness a gradual developing of honesty in a person who practices spiritual life, an attitude ultimately culminating in the strict adherence to the order of the Äcärya. It is not fear of possible reproach in case of deviancy that is the drive – a material emotion – but such fine-tuning is the natural consequence of purity and honesty. Let me explain further.
Daily interactions with people teach that most individuals are hard-hearted, to a degree that it disables them to honestly acknowledge their situation of relentless suffering. Such persons not only pretend they are “fine” but they actually (make-) believe it themselves. Acknowledgement of our suffering only makes us more truly human. The conditions of tattva bhrama (illusion about spiritual knowledge) and asat-tåñëä (attachment to the temporary) gradual diminish when those who are confused because of such disorders, get to associate with saintly persons. However, due to hådaya-daurbalya (weakness of the heart) one’s offensive inclination towards Krishna remains, not factually admitting the outrageous blunder of having betrayed Krishna’s friendship. At this initial stage of spiritual awakening one attempts merely to get free from suffering. Some mistakenly think that this also is a stage of love for God.
我从每日和人们的交流得知大部分的人的心硬到如此程度，以致这使他们不能诚实地承认自己不断地受苦的处境。这样的人不仅假装他们“还好”，而且实际上自己相信这一点。承认我们的受苦只会使我们更加真实。当因为这样的混乱而困惑的人与圣洁的人联谊时，tattva bhrama(对灵性知识的幻念)和asat-tåñëä（对短暂事物的依恋）的情况逐渐减弱。然而，由于hådaya-daurbalya (内心的软弱)，人冒犯奎师那的倾向继续存在着，不真实地承认背叛奎师那的友谊而犯下的大错。在这灵性觉醒的起始阶段，人们仅仅是试图从痛苦之中摆脱出来。有些人错误地认为这也是对神的爱的一个阶段。
Making further progress, one realizes more about one’s situation. Even when grasping only fragments of Krishna’s kindness for the rebellious souls, one vows to not dismay Him in the slightest manner. Such a devotee then firmly sticks to the order of the Äcärya, accepting him as a by Krishna himself dispatched representative. He is the one to whom the sincere devotee gives his full dedication. For such devotees, the Äcärya’s directives are Krishna’s arrangements. Such devotee’s softened heart has no fear-induced motivation. In the eyes of less mature devotees he/she may appear to be overly concerned with “externals” in the execution of the will of the Äcärya but their motive is solely to please Krishna and thereby compensate for the grave blunder of their betrayal of his love.
For further insights into the mood of the advanced soul that has come to realize his mistaken attitude, kindly read in the Krishna book, “Prayers Offered by Lord Brahmä to Lord Krishna.”
What to do then, when having taken initiation from a Gauòéya Math member,
one still desires to remain closely associated with devotees that remain loyal to Çréla Prabhupäda? Request the Gauòéya Math member’s permission to remain associated with those devotees and consequently minimize your interaction with him. That is my opinion.